Destiny 2 has officially launched, and soon it will be available worldwide. Full reviews won’t arrive just yet, but reviews-in-progress from a pre-release event have been online for a few days, with more impressions from the live version also becoming available.
The much-anticipated sequel doesn’t radically shake up the Destiny formula, instead opting primarily to refine and improve the core of the first game. You can see our breakdown of Destiny 2’s five biggest changes for a basic idea of what to expect.
Below, you’ll find a collection of various critics’ impressions of the game so far. In GameSpot’s Destiny 2 review in progress, Kallie Plagge calls the story a “clear improvement over Destiny’s much-maligned storytelling,” adding that “Destiny 2 builds on the original in smart ways that make me excited to keep playing.” We’ve also more recently published a Destiny 2 review diary (now updated for day two) that offers more of Kallie’s thoughts now that the game is live.
- Game: Destiny 2
- Developer / Publisher: Bungie / Activision
- Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
- Release: September 6 (PS4/Xbox One), October 24 (PC)
- Price: US $60 / £50 / AU $100
“Of course, all of this still feels like Destiny. The new social space, the Farm, is functionally the same as the Tower in the original. Finding loot and switching out your old gear still takes up a significant portion of your time. Enemies have been tweaked, but they’re not wildly different, either. That’s not necessarily bad, but it also makes me wonder if I’ll see Destiny 2 as a sequel, rather than a half-step forward, the longer I play and the more I grind and repeat.” — Kallie Plagge [Full review in progress]
“Though I’ve only replayed things I’ve already done, I’m still excited about Destiny 2. I can’t wait to find my next exotic weapon, but I’m also looking forward to completing more Adventure missions and learning more about the world. My next step is to finish the story, reach level 20, and run some Strikes, so check back soon for more impressions.” — Kallie Plagge [Destiny 2 review diary]
“Destiny 2 doesn’t necessarily feel like full sequel to Destiny, but it doesn’t need to. So far, what’s here is fun and engaging. As I polish off the Story Campaign, partake in the current elder game, and await the unlocking of the Raid next week, I’m having fun. I don’t know if it stands up to the best MMOs yet, but I’m liking what I’m seeing so far.” — Mike Williams [Full review impressions]
“At the very least, what I’ve played of Destiny 2 is an incredibly promising start. In plain English, it feels like Destiny without all the bulls***. It seems like the sequel Bungie needed to make–not a fundamentally different experience, but improved enough over its predecessor to reel veterans back in and attract people who skipped the original Destiny. Now we have to see how it holds up.” — Samit Sarkar [Full review in progress]
“So far, while I’m in the endgame grind I’m still having a good time, and I’m excited to hop back in and get my first max-level character. But as I mentioned, there’s not a lot of clear direction from Destiny 2 after completing the campaign, and as much as I’ve loved the story I’m left feeling like I’ve seen it all, and I’d really like to see more. The upcoming Raid and Trials multiplayer mode do promise more narrative threads for me to pull at and I can’t wait to dive in to see if they satisfy my content hunger pangs. Still, I’m thrilled to see Bungie deliver on its story promises and give a more balanced PVP experience. ” — Destin Legarie [Updated review in progress]
“However, what’s remarkable about the structure of Destiny 2–aside from it having a real central plot–is that it achieves what the first Destiny tried but ultimately failed to do: it gives the player freedom. Yes, there’s some linearity to the Red War missions and the order in which the destinations are introduced–but you can spend the bulk of your time wherever you’re most comfortable, where you find combat encounters most fulfilling, or where the rewards on offer are most appealing to you.” — Alex Kane [Full impressions]
“I am not at an ideal state to issue anything resembling a verdict. But I at least feel safe declaring this: I entered the event perturbed that I would play so much Destiny 2 and not get to transfer that progress to the final, retail version. Now, I am anxious to dive back in and try again. I want to flex the muscles of an entirely different class. I want to devote far more attention to so much in-mission dialogue and exposition. Above all else, I want to group up with some friends and see how the ‘always a battle around every corner’ sensation feels when I have some persistent fireteam members at my side.” — Sam Machkovech [Full pre-review]
“So far, Destiny 2 has improved upon the original Destiny in every way. There’s a Pierce Brosnan-impersonating sniper who serves as your faction representative for the European Dead Zone. There’s new enemy types, including staff-wielding Fallen Wretches and caped-flaming-crossbow-wielding Hive Knights. There are cutscenes where The Speaker, who never really had much to say, is actually a savage and disses Ghaul in rap-battle proportions during cutscenes. When I sat down to play this game I had one mission for Bungie: prove to me that Destiny 2 isn’t just another expansion. Thankfully, it turns out that Destiny 2 has listened to the fans and has taken a look in the mirror: the product is one that I–so far–thoroughly enjoy.” — Noah Buttner [Full review impressions]